Technology Sucks

When I was a kid I didn’t have a tablet. No lap tops, no game consoles that accessed the world wide web. I had a box in the living room that we could play mine sweep or solitaire on but it took twenty minutes or so to boot up. I spent most of my summer vacations playing make believe in the woods, riding my bike and getting cuts and bruises. Swimming in the pool and trying very badly to skateboard down the street. We didn’t have videos showing us about new toys. We didn’t have Snapchat and other such apps on our smart phones. Heck I didn’t even have a cell phone until I was almost 20.

This week I’ve been re-evaluating my kiddos screen time. I have heard so many crazy things about children now-a-days on their tablets and lap tops and such, watching things they shouldn’t. Talking to people they don’t know, sending pictures of an obsene nature to friends and girlfriend’s and boyfriend’s. Being bullies and starting rumors, sharing private things that should never leave their lips. My six year old is very fluent in the “smart” technology portion of our household. It terrifies me. Absolutely terrifies me.

She can almost use my phone better than I can. But where do I draw the line? Do I give her the room to make a mistake or do I limit her time? Do I take them all away? I don’t know. But what I do know is that education is key. For parents and adults.

First thing, know what your kids are doing. Know what they are watching. Don’t be afraid to ask them, be nosy. My kiddos aren’t allowed to be in another room with their tablet and have the door closed. I have a specific email that I have signed into every single internet capable device in the house. I’ve linked it to my cell phone so that I can see exactly what videos on YouTube she watches and exactly what activity she helps herself too.

I limit the time that she plays. I try to encourage her to play outside. Have sleepovers, color, play make believe. Of course now that she has had screen time it’s hard to pull her back from that. She wants to watch little kids on a video play make believe with their babies instead of actually playing herself.

But, none of that saved me from catching her watching inappropriate videos. She still tried and she still saw things she shouldn’t have. I took her tablet away, she was grounded for a month. We haven’t had any repeats of this behavior but the tablet has taking over her childhood play.

She won’t ride her bike, she won’t play outside, she would rather be in her tablet in her room.

I’ve heard stories from friends about their kids talking to strangers on social media, my own teenager daughter was recently involved in a “picture swap” if you will. I’ve heard of a 10 year old who was watching porn. Kids who are meeting up with grown adults they have never met, and being taken from their families. Some of them never to be seen again.

I think this house will be taking a break from the technology for awhile. Time to go plant flowers, have a picnic and take a walk. I want to protect my children. More than anything. I know that I can’t protect them from everything. But I’m sure as hell going try.

Hugs! – Mama Kuddo aka Kristy

photo credit: wuestenigel Tablet and Pen via photopin (license)

photo credit: Wayan Vota The modern toddler iPad experience via photopin (license)

Sit Down and Shut It Up: Parents Who Talk Bad About Parents. 

I don’t understand what the problem is. If our kiddos are clean, fed, and cared for that’s what matters right? So why do we keep putting other parents down for things? Why do we take it upon ourselves to be total judge mental tards? Yup that’s what I said, tards. Better than what I was thinking. 
I’m so tired of hearing about what this parent or that parent did or didn’t do. Most of the time, it’s from someone who IS a parent. Now I know darn well that you have been through tough parenting moments. Hence the word ‘parent’.

I know that you have been up every hour on the hour, comforting a sick child. I know that you have had a toddler who will only eat the jelly off their bread, instead of the whole dang sandwich like a normal person. Or have a child ask for a banana only to throw it in the floor. Or eat two bites of their food and ask for a snack. This list of food examples could get intense. I’ll end it here…

I know that you, a parent, of children, have had to physically hold down your child to get boogers out of their nose. You have turned your head for five seconds and your child has wrote on the wall… In their own poo. If that’s something that has only happened to me I’m disappointed. Seriously. 

I know that you have fought your kiddos for an hour to get them to go to bed at night. Listened to their whiney cries when they don’t get a nap. Fought with them over a candy bar at the grocery store. Let go of their hand in the parking lot to get your keys out of your purse, only to have a heart attack when they almost get hit by a car. Let go of your child at the zoo and freaked the hell out because he disappeared around the corner while you were looking at the penguins with the other kids. Come on those little buggers are adorable..

I know that you have put Band-Aids on imaginary boo boos.  Played tea party with a child who won’t let you look at her stuffed bear. I know that you have screamed at your child for nothing except that whatever you told them to do, they didn’t do, and probably didn’t need to be yelled at like that but OMG JUST LISTEN. I know that you have ate all the rest of the candy so the kids couldn’t. Guilty as charged. 

I know that you have tried teaching them how to use the potty, only to fail. Currently going on at my house. I know that you have dropped an entire gallon of milk on the floor, had to get in your vehicle and go to the store, at midnight, all while your child screams bloody murder in the back seat because they want milk. (True story)

I know that you have cleaned, repeatedly. Everyday. For hours. I know that the laundry is never done. The dishes are always dirty and the house is always messy. I know that you are EXHAUSTED. So why in the hell do I always hear things about “bad moms” or “terrible dads” from people who are parents?

If you SHOW UP day in and day out. If you try your very best to do every single thing in your power to ensure the healthy, positive growth of your children, even when you might make a mistake… Then shut the hell up. Yup. Shut it up. 

You have no right to judge another parent. 

1. Not your business. 

2. Not your business. 

3. You are literally going through or have gone through the same things that they are. 

4. Not your business. 

And if you DON’T show up. If you don’t TRY. If you aren’t there. Then you don’t have the right to judge a parent who does. So shut up. Sit down. Step aside. 

Because parents, real ones, we know what the day to day is about. We show up. We put our big, grown up britches on and we laugh at the mistakes and we learn from them. So stop putting all the other parents down. You have no idea what they might be going through. Or what toddler, pre-teen or teenager they have to hide from. 

If parenting was easy there would be a book. Being a parent, I know there isn’t a step by step guide book. Trust me I checked. 

-Kuddos and Kiddos

Don’t Leave Before you Clean!

So as parents we are supposed to teach our kiddos how to be decent human beings. We start young with how not to color on tables and walls. Then we graduate to things like don’t chew with your mouth open, and clean up your mess. 
One thing I’ve seen that drives me nuts is when my kiddos go to someone’s house and makes a mess. Being a mom of tiny humans has given me a certain level of knowledge in the cleaning up messes department. And it’s not my fav. I also can’t even deal with other kids in my house making messes, IF their parents leave without making them clean it up. 

Let me elaborate. 

1. This is my family’s home. The location of my happiness, my bubble, my mess. MINE. Not yours. MINE. So.. when I spend all day cleaning up after my own kiddos and their room is all shiny and clean, I’m not at all interested in cleaning up all the toys left behind from your kiddos hanging out. I have enough messes to clean. That means, that if the toy box wasn’t upside down and the toys weren’t spilled out all over when you got here… Then it’s good mom etiquette to make sure it isn’t when you leave. 

2. My kids will HAVE to clean up messes at your house. Period. They destroy it, they clean it. It’s all about respecting someone else’s property. Not to mention as I have before, I know what it’s like to clean all day. Everyday. I’m pretty sure that I will be cleaning for all of eternity.  Also sure I didn’t sign up for that on paper anywhere… Unless they gave me paperwork during labor I didn’t read, in which case read your stuff ladies. Ha. But seriously, I want my kids to respect other people’s property. I want them to go to other people’s houses as a grown up and help clean dishes after dinner. I want them to not break their friends stuff. I want them to just be decent human beings. 

3. It’s not fair.  Pretty sure if I came to your house and started throwing your stuff around the living room and then bounced you’d be pretty upset. The same goes for ours kiddos. My daughter takes 7 days and 7 nights to clean her room. I can’t ask her to clean a mess she had help making. Well I could but that’s not really fair… Or is it? No. No. See now I’m giving myself ideas. If I ask my daughter to clean her room after several children have been in there making a mess, it will lead to disaster. I will definitely end up yelling. So again. Not fair. 

4. I also understand that toddlers won’t clean up their mess. That’s where you come in. Being a mom means having to clean up their mess. Even if that means at my house. Same goes for me. Like I mentioned before it’s good mom etiquette. 

It’s all for a good cause I swear. I want my children to be responsible for their actions. I want them to grow into decent human beings. If this is only one step in the right direction… Then let’s start here. 

Hugs! – Kuddos and Kiddos

Check out my Facebook Page!
photo credit: Dean Terry <a href=”″>Cleaning Day?</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;

Potty Training

So I recently started trying to potty train my toddler. Trying being the key word. She will NOT go on the toilet. She sits on there and takes to me like she’s in a chair at the salon. She plays with the toilet paper roll and messes with the bottles of shampoo on the tub, but no potty. I’ve tried everything. Running water, giving her drink and then reading her books while she sits patiently on the potty. No luck.

It’s funny because my six year old was much, much easier to train. She got right on there and did her business like it was second nature. But not my toddler. She’s stubborn. Won’t have it. 

I thought she wasn’t ready. But the abundant amount of diapers she takes off and leaves in the floor everyday tell me otherwise. There’s too many times I’ve had to clean poo off the walls because apparently she thinks that it’s finger paint.  Oversharing I know. It’s gross. I need a bleach bomb for my house. Seriously.. is that a thing? If so let me know where I can get one…

So what is a Mama to do? I haven’t the slightest clue. Patience I suppose. I guess here’s to hoping she figures out where the actual poo is supposed to go… And if your a parent also having the same problem, please share your story too! It’s always nice to know that we are not alone in the very crazy and often down right disgusting thing we call parenting. 

Here’s to a fully trained toddler by summer. 

Hugs – Kuddos and Kiddos
photo credit: quinn.anya <a href=”″>The preschooler was here</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;

Letter to my Daughter

I thought I had a while before I had to worry about boys, sex, drugs and other perfectly normal but still terrifying things that teenage girls go through. I don’t. It’s here. And it smacked me right in the face. How do we approach this time in their lives? I mean.. parents don’t know anything right? We haven’t lived through any of it. We have no idea what that are talking about. We have no clue what they are dealing with. At least that’s what my daughter would say. 

My ex husband and I got divorced when my daughter was very young. Most of her life I’ve lived in another state. I’ve been there the best that I could given the circumstances. But it’s taken a toll. It’s getting much better as she has got older, but there are still future hardships to go through. So I decided to write this post and share it in the hopes that one day she will know how important she is. How very important this time in her life is. And so she will know she was never alone. 

    Dear sweet, sweet girl,

       I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. You were lying there taking your first breaths, filling your Dad and I with so much joy. So tiny, yet I already knew that you were going to be amazing. You would blossom into this gorgeous, strong willed, incredibly smart 14 year old teenager. 

      I am writing this letter to tell you how important you are. To tell you that just because I’m your mom, it doesn’t make it any less true. You are IMPORTANT. Every decision you make in these years will effect your whole life. They will shape who you are as a person. As an adult. They will make you into who you will be as a wife, as a parent, and as a friend.

    So please please.. even if its just this once… Listen. 

    • Listen to your dad. Listen to me. Listen to your gut. Your gut is your best friend  hands down. No matter what life throws at you. Don’t second guess it. Ever. It will give you more knowledge about the unknown than anything else will in your entire life. It’s an alarm. It’s your very own security system against danger. Trust it. Listen to it. Never leave home with out it
    • Friends come and go. You will learn during these years that not everyone is your friend. Not everyone will keep your secrets. You will have friends who lead you down the wrong paths. Let them go. Let it go. It’s OK. As you grow you will find new ones. Better ones. Ones who will challenge you to be the amazing person you are. Be patient. They will come.
    • Boys suck. It’s true. They do. Sure, they are so charming and handsome, but they suck. They will make your heart hurt in ways you didn’t think possible. You will think you have to be a different version of yourself to make them happy. You don’t. Be the best version of yourself for you! Not a boy! Because one day a man will walk into your life and will take care of your heart. And you will see what I’m talking about. Trust me. I know from experience. 
    • Sex isnt something you do for fun. Don’t get bullied into sex. Don’t make yourself a sex object. Respect yourself. You are more than a piece of meat. Sex isnt “fun” when your a teenager. There are so many dangers you need to be careful of. Sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, rape. Be smart. Use that beautiful brain and wait for a man who will respect you. Always say no when it doesn’t feel right. And don’t be afraid to ask us for help. Ever. Without judgement. If you must make the decision to have sex. Use protection. Make it with someone you trust. Or better yet someone we trust. There are no guarantees in this life. Be careful. 
    • Smile. Every single day. Your smile is magical. Don’t let things weigh on your heart. Your life is long and valuable. Don’t waste it being sad. Those things won’t matter twenty years from now. Right now I know it hurts. But it won’t forever. So smile. Let it go!
    • Don’t do drugs and alcohol. This one is tricky. At some point in your young teenage life, you will be offered a beer. You will be offered a joint. Use your head. There’s plenty of time for “trying”. There’s plenty of time for “experiments”. Now is not the time. Your too impressionable. Don’t let your friends dictate who you are! Be yourself. Do what you want when your ready and not a single moment before.
    • There’s time. You have all the time in the world baby girl. Don’t let your life be a rush and go kind of thing. You don’t have to fit in. You can stand out! Be daring, be different! Follow your brain not your heart. It will take you to the most amazing places!
    • Always be kind. Always. No matter what life has thrown you, be kind. Not everyone will have the life you have. Each and every person goes through battles that you can’t imagine. Be there for them. Show compassion. It will be what separates you from the rest of the world.

        You are beautiful. You are kind. You are wise. You will make it through all of the things life throws at you during this time. You have already made it through so much. Look back at the things that you thought you wouldn’t get through. You made it! So have faith. You will survive. You come from a long list of survivors. So when you feel like you can’t possibly take anymore. Come to us. Come to me. Come to your dad. We will remind you! I will remind you! He will remind you.

        And I’ll buy you ice cream. Because everything is better with chocolate chip cookie dough.

        I love you sweet girl. Be brave. Be strong. You will be amazed where it will take you in your life!

        Love your very proud and often very  terrified mom.